The G&A Institute has announced the results of its annual S&P 500 sustainability reporting analysis. It found that an all-time-high 90% of S&P 500 companies published corporate sustainability reports.
For almost 10 years, the Governance & Accountability Institute (G&A) has been tracking trends in sustainability reporting and disclosure activities for publicly-traded companies who are included in the S&P 500® Index. These reports are also known as Responsibility, Citizenship, or ESG reports.
The business enterprise universe represents over 80% of the outstanding equity of the largest U.S. companies. The large-cap S&P 500 is used by thousands of global investment community players to select equities by index managers, and by managers across a range of asset classes.
G&A’s annual research series began nine years ago, with the analysis of sustainability reporting activities for publication in 2011. It found around 20% of the S&P 500 companies were publishing a sustainability report. Since then, G&A has found the volume of reporting has steadily increased year-on-year, and the contents of the reports improved and expanded over time. By 2012, 53% of the companies were publishing reports. By 2014, 75% were, and by 2018 that figure has risen to 86%.
In recently-completed research for 2020, which examined 2019 reporting activities, G&A determined that 90% of companies in the S&P 500 were publishing a sustainability report.
The 2020 research report features a breakdown of non-reporters by sector; those utilizing commonly-used frameworks and standards such as GRI, SASB, TCFD; those aligning with UN SDGs; and examines trends in external assurance and survey reporting (CDP, CSA/DJSI).
Other findings from this year's report include...
- 51% of the S&P 500 reporting companies use GRI
- 14% of S&P 500 reporters presented alignment with SASB
- 5% of S&P 500 reporters presented alignment with TCFD
- 36% of S&P 500 reporters presented alignment with specific UN SDGs
- 29% of S&P 500 reporters utilized external assurance
- 65% of S&P 500 companies respond to CDP
Source: G&A Institute